[MUSIC] So let's see what we can do with this next wine. This Chardonnay, which is many times richer in texture and in overall mouthfeel than that very crisp Sauvignon blanc that we tried first. I don't think anything that we've done so far is really going to work very well with that wine. But let's add some roasted pepper. And remember the Chardonnay was sort of creamy, buttery. Let's add a little bit of sour cream. Okay, and maybe a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. That looks like a nice thing to go with Chardonnay, let's see if it works. Well, one thing we're discovering as we go along [LAUGH] is all sorts of ways we could make this bland soup more interesting. The peppers and the cheese and the sour cream in that soup really add an element of richness. Let's see now if it works with wine. It does seem to work with the wine. The wine is even more buttery but there's something lacking. You know what it is? I think we needed to up the acidity on the food side. Let's try that one more time and see if that works. A little roasted pepper. Let's see, remind me what we did, a little sour cream. Boy, if you're like me, you're probably saying to yourself, put sour cream on anything and it works. [LAUGH] Okay, a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. And then let's not forget adding some acid by squeezing a few drops of lemon. Okay. Just that little bit of acidity from that lemon juice completely transformed the way the the soup tasted before with just three of those four items added. It's just amazing. What it did is it elevated the flavors that you get from that added roasted red pepper. They were almost buried before, but this time they really jumped right out. And let's go back to the wine. Mm, that is fabulous. Who could have predicted that? Acid wasn't a main feature in this Chardonnay. As you remember, it was adequate, it was fine. But just adding a little bit of acidity on the soup side really perked that wine up. So let's do a couple more. Let's try to think of something that might go well with that Pinot noir. In fact, let's go ahead and start with some sour cream. Okay, maybe we'll use a different cheese this time, cheddar. And, of course, some acidity. And we'll try our soup again. That doesn't work real well. I think the cheddar maybe doesn't have as much salt as the Parmesan has, but let's go ahead and see how that works with the Pinot. Boy, not well at all. I think it might have been the dairy that sort of buried that Pinot. The Pinot kind of tastes like vegetable soup [LAUGH] instead of wine. It's so funny with these little food and wine interactions, you can predict all you want. But until you actually taste them, you don't have the proof of what really works. So, let's think back on the features of that Pinot. That Pinot was nice and forward, strawberry jammy. It also had a little peppery note. And it had some smokey char in the background, probably from the time it aged in wood. So I'm going to take a radical departure, and I'm going to switch over to Parmesan, which has some nice aged dry cheese, salty flavor. I'm going to dip down in to my pesto. And maybe a little bit of this bacon because it has a nice, earthy, charry flavor to it. And maybe a couple of these French fried onions. Okay, [LAUGH] see if I can gather that all up with my spoon, there we go. That is a very different soup. All of a sudden we've gone from something that we might eat in the summer to something we would eat in the winter. I think it's the smokiness and the caramelization on those French fried onions. But actually, there's a charriness, or a fried character that comes forth that might really work well with this Pinot. Well, you don't see me jumping up and down about that. It had interesting aspects but I think what was overpowering the wine flavor was the powerful flavor of that pesto. I'm going to try the same thing again but I'm going to add what I forgot that last time, if you notice, a squeeze of acid. So let's try that again. I think I used a little Parmesan. I think I used a little piece of chopped smoked meat. I used some crispy onions. And there was a little bit of pepper in the Pinot, I gotta be careful with pepper. Pepper has some heat to it that I may want to be careful about. So a little bit of pepper. And then not forget my little squeeze of lemon. That's actually pretty tasty. That's a little bit better, but there's one kind of surprising flavor there, just the introduction of that wine on my palate with the alcohol that it has in it, of course. It really kind of ignites that tiny pinch of pepper that I put in the soup. So you have to be careful of that. Any time you have pepper on the food side or anything containing capsaicin, which is the element in chili peppers that causes the heat, alcohol can really sort of light that on fire. One way that you could mitigate that is to add a little sweetness to your soup or maybe a little bit of fat. So if I made the same thing again, I could put a little pinch of sugar on the spoon, or maybe a couple of drops of olive oil, and that would sort of squelch that little bit of heat from pepper. So we have a fourth wine to consider, but let me stop for a moment and just remind you why we’re doing this. We have something that we're going to serve with our meal. We have a wine that we think might go well with that meal. But let's think about the assets that the wine is bringing to the meal. Let's think about the basic flavors and the food involved. Is there any umami? Are there spices? Are there herbs? Are there any savory elements involved? And think about predicting how well they will go with each other. Remember, first of all, the most important thing is to match body. If we have a very fully flavored, long roasted food that we're going to serve, it will completely overwhelm a lighter style wine. Remember the wines that we had in our module one, that simple red and simple white something like a long roasted food item would completely smother them. So we need something more hearty, more robust on the wine side. Likewise, if we have a very full flavored, very full bodied robust wine on the wine side, if we serve it with something simple and with minimal cooking and minimal spicing on the food side, the wine will completely bury that food. So we've gotta think about assets on either side, both the food side and the wine side, and think about how they'll go together. So let me challenge you with this last wine, with this Cabernet. What would you add to that basic fairly uninteresting bean soup to make it go well with this Cabernet? Think about the assets that the Cabernet has. This Cabernet now has fairly noticeable tannins. How is that going to affect the food? We're going to need to add some more fat on the food side to make it work with the wine. Think about elements of flavor that this wine has. This wine has just a touch of foresty, herbaceous flavor to it. It has some ripe red fruit and black fruit characteristics. It has a very rich woody background that I'm smelling as brown sugar, or caramel, or vanillin. So let's see what we have on the tray in front of us that we think will add to the soup to make the soup come up to the level of the wine. This is definitely the fullest wine that we have before us, the fullest in body and the fullest in flavor. So I'll leave this fourth wine to you. When you make up your own tray of food additives, use whatever you want. By all means, choose what's in your own pantry, what's in your own marketplace, what's in your own dietary or culinary traditions. Avoid things that don't set well with you, but choose other things. Be brave, choose spicy foods, choose chili powder, see how far you can go with that. When you work with spicier foods, the wine needs to have elements in it that will work with that spice. Would high alcohol wines work with spice? Depends on the spice. If the spice is something with capsaicin or pepper in it, no. It'll be like throwing wood on a fire. It'd absolutely heat things up. So we need something on the wine side that will quiet that spiciness on the food side. And very often it's lower alcohol, and even a fair amount of sweetness on the wine side. A classic to serve with spicier foods is a sweet Riesling, a German Riesling. So go ahead and have fun with this. Always have a basic seasoning rack. Some salt and some pepper, and some sugar and some acid. Or depending on your own cultural context, you might want to have some chili powder or some merken or some garam masala or something that you would normally find in your culinary tradition. And then have some herbs, have some cheeses, if those will work for you, have some savory items, and put together kind of a fun flight of foods to go with your flight of wines. And to have the most fun, invite your friends over to participate in this exercise. I think you'll find it very, very rewarding. And you'll find that at least half the time, what you predicted would work really well with the wine, won't work at all, for reasons that you were not able to predict. So just try, and try, and try again. And, ultimately, you'll be able to work out the perfect marriage between your favorite wine and your favorite food.